Wes Montgomery: Echoes of Indiana AvenueBy Track review of "‘Round Midnight"
These recordings were made in three different formats, ostensibly as demos for record companies. Montgomery signed with the Pacific Jazz label in 1958 (resulting in Fingerpickin'), so it is thought that these recordings were made between 1957 and '58. Montgomery's style represents a natural evolution from Charlie Christian's groundbreaking recordings of the late 1930s. If Joe Pass approximates Oscar Peterson on guitar, then Montgomery is Count Basie. Montgomery's technicality was revealed in his use of octaves more than his speed or dexterity. His note choice was expert, and in light of his autodidactic status, revelatory.
Montgomery's respect of Thelonious Monk is illustrated by the guitarist's inclusion of "'Round Midnight" and "Straight, No Chaser" in these demos. "'Round Midnight" was a regular inclusion in Montgomery's book, having been recorded by the guitarist several times during his short career. This early example of the jazz ballad shows that Montgomery's jazz language was already well developed. He spins the Monk tune into a classic improvisation that goes where the piano cannot take it. Montgomery's solo development here can be compared to that of Sonny Rollins on his improvised masterpiece, "Blue Seven" from Saxophone Colossus (Prestige, 1956). Montgomery carefully develops his solo within the format of the classic organ trio, burning the already well-worn piece with a soul jazz flame. This is the greatest jazz find brought to disc since The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane: at Carnegie Hall (Blue Note, 2005).
Diablo's Dance; 'Round Midnight; Straight No Chaser; Nica's Dream; Darn That Dream; Take The 'A' Train; Misty; Body and Soul; After Hours Blues.
Wes Montgomery: guitar; Monk Montgomery: bass (3); Buddy Montgomery: piano (3); Mingo Jones: bass (6-9); Earl Van Riper: piano (6-9); Sonny Johnson: drums (6--8); Melvin Rhyne: piano (1, 4), organ (2, 5); Paul Parker: drums (1, 2, 4, 5); Unknown bassist (1, 4).
Title: Echoes Of Indiana Avenue | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Resonance Records
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About Wes Montgomery
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